What's Happening in Character Education?

Phyllis L. Fagell

Phyllis L. Fagell is the school counselor at the Sheridan School in Washington, DC and a licensed clinical professional counselor at the Chrysalis Group in Bethesda, MD. Phyllis regularly writes columns for the Washington Post on parenting, counseling and education. She tweets @pfagell.
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Ten Steps to Self-Care: The hardest advice to take is our own

Posted by Phyllis L. Fagell on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 @ 09:01 AM


Even my iPhone thought I was overextended. On a Sunday night, a message flashed across my screen: "There's a lot going on tomorrow. There are nine events scheduled, and the first one starts at 4 am. Your alarm is set for 5:05 am." My first instinct was to laugh, and then wonder what on earth I had going on at 4 am. A friend joked that I was so busy, I had allotted time for dreaming.

As a school counselor, I tell parents not to overwhelm their children with laundry lists of activities. Even young students can feel frayed. Recently, I met with a 7-year-old so prone to rage he avoids competitive sports, and a 10-year-old so chronically exhausted she asks to nap at school.

Many of us have scaled back our kids' commitments, yet still have trouble achieving balance in our own lives. We take ten minutes for lunch and listen to our voicemail in the car. If we exercise, it may be at the expense of sleep. Our friendships take a backseat when we connect through texts instead of over lunch.

Self-care may be an overused buzzword, but it's critical. If we follow the advice we give children, we can restore equilibrium. Here are ten tips we can teach kids and apply to our own lives.

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